IMPROVED communication infrastructure, roads, aged care and transport are at the top of West Wimmera Shire Council’s wish-list for next year’s state election.
The priorities will be added to a list with other regional councils’ priorities.
Wimmera Development Association is putting together the list in preparation for regional advocacy in the lead up to the 2014 Victorian election.
Chief executive Mark Crouch said the list would help ensure council was delivering a consistent and reasoned message to the State Government.
Corporate and community services manager Venkat Peteti said based on a community survey, the main issues people wanted to see addressed were the National Broadband Network, the shortage of aged care housing and public transport.
“The NBN is the kind of key infrastructure that will allow people in Melbourne to work in the country,” he said.
“The same with internet mobile reception – black spots need to be improved.
“There is a shortage of aged-care homes and people who are born and bred here want to retire here.
“Housing is a big issue.”
Mr Peteti said there were also limited public transport options within the shire.
“We don’t have basic transport for people to get to hospital appointments – there is nothing available,” he said.
Mayor Bruce Meyer highlighted funding for roads as an issue he wanted to see addressed by the State Government.
“Some of our roads need a lot of work and we need good roads to have secure transport links,” he said.
Cr Annette Johns said declining population was also an issue.
“There needs to be an increase in economic activities in the shire,” she said,
She said jobs in small towns were often lost or relocated to Horsham or Ballarat.
“There is value in keeping jobs in small towns,” she said.
Cr Ron Hawkins also identified a water pipeline to the shire as a long-term priority.